COVID-19 vaccine requirement pop-up was an error, NYU administration says

Last week, the Student Health Center listed the COVID-19 vaccine was required for active in-person students. The university claims it was an error.

A+pop-up+stating+that+the+COVID-19+vaccine+is+required+for+all+active+in-person+students+appeared+on+the+NYU+Student+Health+Center+Portal+last+week.+According+to+the+university%2C+this+was+a+mistake+and+they+have+yet+to+decide+whether+the+COVID-19+vaccine+will+be+mandatory+for+the+Fall+2021+semester.+%28Photo+by+Ryan+Kawahara%2C+Image+by+Dylan+Yen%29

A pop-up stating that the COVID-19 vaccine is required for all active in-person students appeared on the NYU Student Health Center Portal last week. According to the university, this was a mistake and they have yet to decide whether the COVID-19 vaccine will be mandatory for the Fall 2021 semester. (Photo by Ryan Kawahara, Image by Dylan Yen)

By Rachel Fadem, Staff Writer

On April 8, Global Liberal Studies sophomore Dylan Yen saw a pop-up on the NYU Student Health Center portal stating that the COVID-19 vaccine was required for all in-person students. After reading the information, Yen took a screenshot of the pop-up and posted it on the NYU subreddit.    

“Along with other vaccinations required by NYS, NYU is now listing the Covid vaccine as ‘required,’” Yen wrote on Reddit. “You can see for yourself here at NYU Student Health Center when you click on the ‘Medical Clearances’ tab.” 

Other NYU students checked their portals and reported seeing the same pop-up. Yen told WSN he uploaded photos of both sides of his vaccination card, which included the lot number, date of vaccine appointments and the type of vaccine he received. His proof of vaccination was approved a day later, leading him to believe a real person at the Student Health Center verified it. 

According to NYU Spokesperson John Beckman, the pop-up was a university error. According to Beckman, the university has yet to decide whether the COVID-19 vaccine will be mandatory for the Fall 2021 semester. 

“We’re looking into why that automated feature was operating and why it was written in that way,” Beckman wrote in an email statement to WSN. “However, in any case, 1) what it implies — that COVID vaccinations are required — is incorrect, and 2) that feature was not supposed to be functioning now. It has been turned off.”

According to Yen, based on his experience uploading his vaccination information, he doubts the COVID-19 vaccine pop-up was a mistake. 

“There’s no way that that would have happened unless they plan to do this,” Yen speculated. “If anybody thinks that NYU is going to let us back on campus — full, in person, on campus without a vaccine — I don’t know what world they’re living in.”

A growing number of colleges and universities announced they are requiring students to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 before returning to campus in the fall. Some NYU students, such as Gallatin sophomore Jasmine Cheek, think NYU should do the same. 

“I feel like if you don’t have the vaccine, you should not be allowed to come to campus next semester,” Cheek told WSN. 

“Given the fact that we’ve been in a pandemic for more than a year, it would make sense that that’s something that’s implemented,” she added. “It just seems like it would be something normal.”

Cheek believes the university should have articulated a plan for in-person classes in the Fall 2021 semester instead of simply stating they will occur. 

“It feels like they’re trying to give us instant gratification in order to ensure that we’ll be on campus and be paying full tuition,” Cheek said. “[That’s] the energy that it’s giving off … It feels like they’re moving really fast without having any sort of concrete plan.”

Email Rachel Fadem at [email protected]